|Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu|
ANKARA – Breaking a weekâ€™s silence on the deadly rift in Iran following the recent controversial events, Turkey has contradicted the Western position and advised Iranian people not to overshadow â€œthe dynamic and well-attendedâ€ political elections.
FM urges Iranians to accept election â€œWe believe that the problems in Iran will be solved via its inner mechanisms, with the best possible result. In this context, we truly hope that the dynamic and well-attended political election will not be shadowed by the recent developments, and we send our best regards to the people of Iran with the strong conviction that they will reach the best conclusion in a short time,â€ Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu told reporters Monday during a meeting with visiting United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan.
Turkey has become one of the first countries to congratulate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadâ€™s victory in the general elections, where he defeated reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, without considering the oppositionâ€™s assertions of fraud in the vote counting. It has been tight-lipped since the beginning of the demonstrations in Iran, where at least 10 protesters have died. DavutoÄŸlu, known as a Middle East expert, in his first statement late Sunday, said he discussed regional developments with his Azerbaijani counterpart at a surprise meeting in Istanbul.
â€œIran is of utmost importance to us. It is one of our most important neighbors with which we share common history. We believe that Iran will solve its problems within itself in the framework of healthy consultation and one-on-one negotiations. Iranâ€™s stability is vital for the entire regionâ€™s stability. Turkey will respect all decisions made in this respect,â€ he said.
DavutoÄŸlu did not touch on the fact that the police were using disproportionate force against protesters and the rights of assembly and to demonstrate were disregarded by Ahmadinejadâ€™s regime. The foreign ministerâ€™s statement reveals that Turkeyâ€™s sole interest is in maintaining regional stability through favoring the status quo in Iran, according to diplomatic sources. For many, Turkeyâ€™s current foreign policy does not prefer a change of regime in Iran for strategic purposes.
According to Semih Ä°diz, a columnist for daily Milliyet, President Abdullah GÃ¼lâ€™s â€œreflexiveâ€ congratulation call to Ahmadinejad just after the elections has raised many questions.
â€œThose who are skeptics are not only the Westerners. The diplomats of countries who are closely observing the recent developments with concern, like Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Egypt, are also curious about the same things,â€ he wrote in his column on Monday.
â€œBy this approach Turkey has been doomed to a position where it hasnâ€™t been able to grasp the recent developments in Iran. Our ignorance of this neighboring country is clearly seen when we observe the fact that most of our people choose to state the most common and simple argument, yet once again, that suggests that the United States and EU are involved in the recent developments in Iran.â€